Seaplane pilots: Whitehorse Schwatka Lake Plan comments needed by Sept 1

Seaplane pilots spoke up last fall when a survey was conducted regarding the use of Whitehorse’s Schwatka Lake. In fact, 84% of the comments received were aviation oriented! Now, the City of Whitehorse is about to consider the Draft Schwatka Lake Area Plan, and your comments are again needed, and due by September 1st. Please take a minute to look the plan over, and comment TODAY!

The draft plan proposes significantly expanding float plane facilities, yet leaves addressing the needs of transient users to local businesses without any definition of transient parking slips or fueling facilities.  Another section of the plan calls for moving non-motorized boat operations, which have traditionally used the east side of the lake, to the west side. This could put them in conflict with float plane operations.  Also called for is the establishment of a working group to implement the Schwatka Lake Area Plan. It seems that this group should include a stakeholder to represent the interests of the transient seaplane users.

Map of the proposed land use from the draft Schwatka Lake Plan.

Map of the proposed land use from the draft Schwatka Lake Plan.

From my quick read of the document, I would recommend commenting on the following points:

  • Given the international and tourism impacts of aircraft flying between the US, Canada and Alaska, more specifically identify the plans for transient floatplane tie-down spots, refueling facilities, surface transportation, access to telephone and restroom facilities, even if they are provided by private business interests.
  • Express concerns about changing use patterns on the lake between floatplane and non-motorized boat users which could impact safety, and impact the viability of the lake for floatplane operations in the long run.
  • Urge the City to designate a transient float plane stakeholder on the working group to implement the plan.

The plan is available online. Comments may be made by email to city planner Erica Beasley erica.beasley@whitehorse.ca . The Yukon COPA Chapter suggests sending a copy to mayorandcouncil@whitehorse.ca The deadline is September 1, so ACT TODAY!

One thought on “Seaplane pilots: Whitehorse Schwatka Lake Plan comments needed by Sept 1

  1. Hello,
    I now live in Spokane, Washington, but, used to fly out of Fairbanks on floats. Whitehorse and Dawson City are the only Canadian landing facilities eastbound out of Alaska. Whitehorse is very important to floatplanes departing Alaska eastbound from the interior.
    I would lobby for one tie-down area being a beach instead of a dock. Most Alaska pilots do not taxi to docks frequently, and, so, it would be safer to have the choice available.
    I have always been impressed with Canadian Pilots’ ability to professionally use a dock, but, it requires practice not available, say, in Fairbanks. All float spots there are beach tiedowns.
    My wife and I miss Whitehorse and our friends there…I am a curler and made many bonspiels held at your club.

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